Great Grandma Bea

Here I am again,
propped up for the photographer's pleasure.
It's easy to see how photographs make memories.
Will future relations remember me simply as the gaunt, unsmiling soul
peering out to them?
Stripped of my homeland and family just
to come to the land of promise.
I believe my soul reaches out farther than the glass
and gently taps the shoulder of the viewer,
connecting us.
I may be gone when
my great-granddaughter writes a poem to preserve my memory.
I know that I will be proud.

Mia Nadira Carter studied creative writing at last year's Teen Lit Magazine at the Musehouse Literary Arts Center in Germantown. Her poem The Night Sky was published in the Winter issue of Philadelphia Stories, Junior.


Through the air,
Eating away at life,
Creating a silhouette behind you.
So pretty, yet grotesque,
In your wavy frame,
Wild and untamed.
You kill and burn,
You twist and turn,
You bring warmth and pain,
Destruction and comfort,
And this is what the human soul longs for.

I'm twelve years old and in the sixth grade. I enjoy school, especially writing. I'm not quite sure what I want to be when I'm older, but I'm on the fence between some kind of scientist and a writer.

She’s Dead

The books lie behind the phone.
“To Kill a Mocking Bird” and “Murders in the Rue
Morgue” stand out among the titles.
The phone frowns at me accusingly. Judging me in
The ring screams out, making me jump.
“Mr. Ripply? We’ve found your wife,”
says the Police man on the other end of the line.
“She’s dead.”

Marianna Bergues lives in Narberth and is homeschooled. She loves to write fiction. Marianna participated in the Teen Lit Magazine workshop last year at Musehouse Center for the Literary Arts in Germantown. Two of Marianna's poems were published in the premier issue of Philadelphia Stories, Junior.


For two minutes and forty four seconds,
I watch the night, in its luminescence.
Heavy clouds twist, like so many dark ribbons,
Dark velvet punctured only by stars, clouds overridden.

Pudgy cats yowl in alleyways deserted,
Shadows confuse them, their pouncing thus thwarted.
A beer bottle crashes, from nowhere, it seems.
The echo dies out like a soft, faded dream.

I wish it was warmer, or that the wind held better.
The breeze whistled through my threadbare yarn sweater.
Shadows were approaching, completely unencumbered,

Calamity Rose Jung-Allen is a twelve-year-old singer, guitar-player, writer and actor from West Philly, the city of brotherly love and grafitti. She lives with her mom, her two cats, dog, and two rats. Recently declared a brace-face, she is short and loves peanut butter ice cream. She is one of the winners of the first “Teens Take the Park” writing contest.

My Dream Dog

He has dots on his face
and on his body
and he is cute as a heart

We play tug of war
and we go for walks
and I give him treats

I feed him dinner
and he follows me to bed
right beside me

Emile Johnson is a first-grade student at Belmont Hills Elementary in Bala Cynwyd, PA. She lives in Narberth, PA with her parents and big brother. She likes to read and write poems and stories and also likes to draw. She dreams of having a dogsomeday soon.

Ocean Trip

I see golf courses
The ferris wheel at the top of the night sky
I can see bubbles rising into space
I can see people hloding bags that are filled uo
I can see crowded stores
I touch the tickets
I can touch golf clubs
I can feel the cold metal of the rides
I can taste the cotton candy melting in my mouth
The water ice makes me shiver
When I bite into a fry, I watch the steam go up
At night on the boardwalk, I hear the waves
I hear music inside the stores
I can hear the screams of people on roller coasters

Michael is in third grade. He has two cats and loves video games. He collects pencils and toy cars. He is nine years old.

I Do Not Cry

This is how I don’t cry.

When I’m going to cry dark clouds roll in and thunder

To stop crying I cross my heart and I settle down.

The clouds roll back, sun comes in and I start to think
about summer.

James is in kindergarten and likes to draw and write poetry. He also likes to play soccer and enjoys hip hop dance. He lives in Havertown, PA with his parents and older brother. His favorite book series is the Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems.


Cute and cuddly
Oh, he is so fluffy
So soft and loves to play
Meow! Is what he says
Oh, how could I ever forget he is the best cat ever!

Grace Donia lives in Medford Lakes, NJ. She loves to draw, and she loves cats. They rock. She is 9 and likes to cheer, dance, and do gymnastics.

My Cat

I am
Black Gray and
I am indoor cat
I meow and purr
I like treats and cat food
I am fat
I like to watch squirrels
When I look at a squirrel
I am Riley the cat

Matthew McHugh is from Medford Lakes, NJ, and he likes playing soccer. His school is Neeta School and he is 8 years old.


Sense of one is a part of more
Feeling of interests in others’ worth
Walking on the same path, whether exciting or bore
Keeping all the secrets of our mind we swore.
Monotonous people, even them we hold close,
Being a part of something bigger is what we love most.
In this group we all feel like the host
So, to the sense of togetherness, I toast.

Davis O'Leary is 13 and a seventh grader at TE Middle School. He lives with his parents and big brother. His varied interests include spending time with friends and family, reading, writing, studying the Bible, football, wrestling and lacrosse. Davis is one of the winners of the first “Teens Take the Park” writing contest.

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